Time is one of those things everybody seems to want more of, but it’s not something you can just acquire. You have to make room for more time in your life, by using effective time management strategies. Ultimately, your time is money—so the more efficient your planning is, the richer you’ll be. What you use the surplus on is up to you. The important thing is that you no longer spend it in unnecessary ways.
Giving yourself deadlines is one of the most important ways to avoid procrastination. Try to set clear goals for yourself each week (or each day, for smaller tasks). Then establish a system that lets you reward yourself when you honor those commitments. By doing so, they’ll feel less like abstract rules and more like tangible milestones.
Incorporate habit and systems. If you are going to do something more than once, create a system for getting it done. Once you create that system make it a habit. For example, if you have to go through your financials once a week. Create a system for getting it done efficiently then make a habit out of doing it at the same day and time each week.
Learn to say “no”. Managing your time effectively means knowing when you’re taking on too much. Don’t be afraid to say “no” if you know you won’t have the time for it, someone else can do it.
It’s also important to demarcate between the time you spend working and the time you set aside for yourself. Your free time should be your own, and you should treat it that way. Consider blocking off a few hours each weekend where you don’t answer work emails or take calls. You might not be very productive during those hours, but you’ll relax. Plus, you’ll be able to jump back into your work afterwards with renewed vigor.
Time management is all about looking for ways to accomplish the same results with less stress and waste. By organizing, honoring, and outsourcing your responsibilities when appropriate, you can find yourself prospering without perspiring.
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